Check out this angry critter. If this is not a loud, snorkeling protest, I dont know what is. My mother is a travel writer (see her website in my Del.icio.us links in the sidebar to the right – “Anne Gordon Images”). This superb picture is but one from her vast photo library. I hope to feature a sample of her work from time to time.
Somewhere in the furnce blasted dunes near Jaisalmer travellers arrive at an unusual scene, two hundred camels crouch in moaning ranks waiting for a rider. A mirage of desert splendor shimmers on the horizon and the heat climbs to unbearable levels by midday. Still these dusty beasts crouch; all tasseled and bejewelled in beaded harnesses and bells. They are a dissatisfied lot. The camel is seldom happy and will voice his dissatisfaction whenever given the remotest possibility of an audience.
When visiting Morocco I remember paying a camel herder a few dirhams for a ride on one of his charges. The creature would not co-operate and howled and moaned until the herdsman beat him with a stick. Roaring he stood up – hindlegs first, toppling me onto his neck. Seizing the opportunity, “a nice juicy Canadian boy” he lunged around and bit me. His master gave him such a beating I had to pay him double the initial fee to stop.
The cameleers sit paitiently sipping char from cloudy glasses. They are dark-skinned, fierce, hawk-featured men whose grandfathers were once feared desert warriors. Here, in the Sam Sand Dunes, on the border of Pakistan they chatter quietly amongst themselves waiting for money laden Western tourists to people their strange caravan.